City of El Paso Saves Millions of Dollars with Lean Six Sigma

City of El Paso Saves Millions of Dollars with Lean Six Sigma

By Discovery Lean Six Sigma

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If you run the phrase “Lean Six Sigma” through a search engine, you’ll find hundreds of stories about organizations benefiting from process improvement. There are case studies about huge corporations saving millions of dollars by tweaking their systems, and there are case studies about tiny startups gaining an advantage by simplifying their workflows and focusing their efforts.

But here’s one you probably haven’t seen.

The city of El Paso, Texas is setting records in road repair, and they’re doing it with Lean Six Sigma principles. In 2016, they repaired 500 potholes per week—an increase of 40% from 2015! That equated to 15,600 more potholes repaired in 2016 than in 2015, and those numbers are still trending upwards.

“We are using our resources more efficiently to keep our streets safe for everyone – pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists,” said Ted Marquez, the city’s Interim Managing Director for Streets and Maintenance and Parks.

So what’s the strategy? What, exactly, are they doing differently?

Prior to Lean Six Sigma, road repair crews were deployed on an as-needed basis within a large geographic region. Much of their time was spent driving from pothole to pothole.

Now, crews are being assigned to smaller geographic regions, and they’re never asked to venture outside of those regions. This has reduced driving time and boosted time management, efficiency, and (most importantly) the number of pothole repairs.

More Uses of Lean Six Sigma

This isn’t the first time El Paso has invested in Lean Six Sigma.

City Manager Tommy Gonzalez is a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt, and one of his most successful initiatives involved El Paso’s Parks and Recreation Department. Together with the department, he worked to improve one major process – outdoor space permits.

Before Gonzalez, if a citizen wanted an outdoor space permit, he or she would wait an average of 16 days, speak to a department official 14 times, and the permit would cost the department $214 to process. After Gonzalez, the 16-day wait dropped to 30 minutes, and the cost of processing dropped to $13.

The annual savings totaled more than $32,000.

“When it comes to government efficiency, there are multitudes of skeptics and naysayers,” Gonzalez said. “However, streamlining operations, achieving cost savings and improving service are all within reach for any public-sector agency.”

Road repair and space permits have been huge victories for the city of El Paso, but Lean Six Sigma’s biggest contribution to the city has come via the fire department. In January 2017, El Paso announced that Lean Six Sigma helped improve the fire department’s protective equipment inventory management, 911 communications recruit training time, and firefighter on-the-job injuries.

Total savings? Just under $2 million and a little over 40,000 man hours.

“I am proud our department has embraced Lean Six Sigma for process improvement,” said Interim Fire Chief Mario D’Agostino in a news release. “It is the enthusiasm within the department to continuously improve how we do business that makes Lean Six Sigma successful to the El Paso Fire Department.”

The post City of El Paso Saves Millions of Dollars with Lean Six Sigma appeared first on Six Sigma Daily.

By: James LoPresti
Posted: July 14, 2017, 1:33 pm

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